Since I had surgery for the perianal abscess, I have been left with a pretty nice sized open wound that is trying to heal from the inside out. When I went to the surgeon for my post op visit, she measured the wound at 4cm long x 0.5cm wide, so not huge, but not small either. Especially considering it's right beside my pooper. Needless to say, going to the bathroom is, um, challenging. And it takes quite a bit of planning. It wasn't enough that I already have urgency issues that makes going places and doing things kinda dicey. Now I have to go through a whole routine just to be able to sit down and begin pooping.
See, here's the thing, I have to keep the wound covered while I use the bathroom to prevent as much contamination as possible. That means I have to remove the dressing that is currently on it, make the necessary adjustment and re-secure the covering to protect the wound, but also make sure it won't be in the way either. Then, once I'm finished doing that, I can go. It's been super hard trying to hold it long enough just to get through this part of the process.
Then, if I didn't get a chance to do it before hand, I have to use my non dominant hand to dull out wads of TP so I can wipe, all the while keeping the wound covered with gauze in other hand. It's more than awkward. I'm definitely not ambidextrous and using my left hand for anything is like herding cats. I half wonder if my brain is even in control of that arm at all! Clearly, it's much easier if said wads of TP are already lined up and ready to go so I don't have to fight to do this one handed. And, thanks to my rarely discussed OCD, it really can't just be random wads of TP either. They have to be rolled up neatly with just the right amount of squares. Yeah, it's complicated. Seriously, why am I like this??
Once the wiping is done, it's time for the water. It's not always practical to get into the shower at this point, and let's face it - it's exhausting for me to do the whole shower thing once a day, let alone after I use the bathroom 357 times a day. To fix this issue, I have purchased myself a few 'little squirty bottle thingies' (you can search those exact words on Amazon!) that are actually designed for postpartum women. These little bottles are amazing! It begs the question, why aren't bidets a thing in America? Simply delightful. Except that bottle needs to be filled with water BEFORE I actually go to the bathroom because once I go, I can't really get back up and saunter over to the sink to fill it up. I mean, I am doing my very best to keep this wound clean and free from infection. Now, after I wash off with the water, I have to dry off and redress the wound with a clean bandage. I wasn't lying when I said this was a process!
Typically, I like to have the bottle filled, multiple piles of TP rolled up and a new clean dressing all ready to go. And obviously, plenty of soap and water to wash my hands before and after the whole process. The problem is I can have trouble making it to the bathroom fast enough just to pull my pants down and go. All these extra steps have made pooping so much harder than it needs to be. And that's when I'm in the comfort of my own bathroom where I have the whole routine down to a science.
Today, I had to venture out to the doctor's office and to the pharmacy. I had packed a little squirty bottle thingy and a zip lock baggy full of gauze pads for dressing changes in my purse just in case. Damn good thing too - I ended up having to rush to the bathroom at the doctor's office and the pharmacy both! I'm happy to say both times I was at least able to get the water bottle filled up beforehand, but the rolling of the TP proved to be a big more taxing. But luckily, both restrooms were stocked with TP, soap and paper towels. I navigated both situations like a pro. And even though you didn't ask, now you know what someone healing from a perianal abscess goes through just to poop. You're welcome.